You Get One Choice - Purity 828
Purity 828 09/05/2022 Purity 828 Podcast
Today’s photo of a kayaker paddling into the sunrise light of a new day, on what I presume to be the waters of Greenwich Bay, comes to us from a friend who shared this scene from their daybreak paddle session on Saturday morning.
Happy Labor Day everyone. As I saw on a billboard ad on I787 on Saturday, I wish everyone an enjoyable “honest day off”. Say what you will about labor unions, but if you have the day off you can thank the labor movement in the 19th century for literally fighting and dying for worker’s rights.
According to History.com, “in the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages.
People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.” ( https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/labor-day-1).
The labor movement fought to give workers protections, benefits, and living wages. and one of the results of their efforts is the “working man’s holiday” that we celebrate today. So enjoy the day off and if you should happen to see workers on strike or trying to organize a union, I suggest you support their efforts.
As much as people seem to complain about corporate greed, there some times seems to be a lack of support for unions who try to make them provide a living wage for their employees. Even today some of the people who have the most challenging jobs struggle to make a living because there is no union to represent their interests.
I work for a Fortune 500 company and the wages and benefits that I have are the result of my union’s history of successfully negotiating for its members when the company who annually makes BILLION dollar profits would have given us less.
Unfortunately, in this world broken by sin and corrupted by the love of money, sometimes you need someone to fight for you or you need to band together with others to demand what you need to live.
But the One who really gives us life, and was willing to die to give us what we need is Jesus Christ. The unions might help provide what we need in this life but only God and faith in Jesus Christ will give you good conditions when you go into eternity.
And before I got on my union rant, I was musing over the fact that in this life, it may appear that we have a plethora of choices of where we will work, who we will love, or what we will do with the time that we aren’t working to support our families, but at the end of each day it becomes clear that in reality we only have one choice: the thing we decide to do.
Because it was Labor Day weekend and we are faced with the clear and present danger of summer drawing to a close, even though we have the days off there can be some pressure to “do something” or make the most of these last days before school starts.
Yesterday my wife and I were faced with the uncommon situation of being “kid free” on a Sunday after church and she decided to leave the planning for what we would do with our Sunday afternoon up to me.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so we home and I decided to walk the dog and use the short stroll to think about what I wanted to do with the rest of the day.
When I think of summer I think of swimming and so I pondered going to a relatively nearby swimming spot we had gone to that actually allowed the adults to go into the water above their waists! The day was sunny so I felt that would be appropriate and because it was Labor Day Sunday I felt a real pull of urgency to “make summer memories!”
But because of my wife’s hectic August schedule and stress of working in Hell’s kitchen, I really missed being with her and because we were going to be alone for a few hours, I decided to just spend the day with her in our countryside home.
When we first got together as a couple, I told my then girlfriend that one thing I learned about relationships was that often the couple will run here and there going on dates or doing activities and either don’t know how or are comfortable just being in each other’s presence. So in the beginning, instead of trying to excite or impress one another by going to places of “dates”, we stayed at our countryside home and just talked and enjoyed each other’s presence.
And I think this is a good test for couples. Can you stand to be with one another when there is no where to go and nothing to do? Are your temperaments in sync that you can just enjoy being together? Can you rest in each other’s company?
And on the flip side, are you independent and secure enough to allow each other time to yourselves to be alone, without clingy codependency?
I believe that most of the relationship problems people suffer from today are caused by selfishness and the failure to establish the intimacy that comes from being at peace in each other’s presence.
So I only really had one choice yesterday so I decided no to chase after a vague sense of fulfillment that I would have possibly gotten by going swimming and instead chose to rest in the presence of the one I love and this morning I know I chose wisely.
So in life, we get one choice. We can consider all the options but in the end it will come down to what you actually choose to do. Yesterday, I chose love and I have no regrets.
And that’s the thing too. No matter what we choose. Live your life without regrets. You get one shot at this life so might as well do what you want and see how it goes rather than having to wonder “what if”.
But of course, from some one who made a lot of bad decisions and suffered for them, let me encourage you to ask the Lord to help guide you. Sometimes we need someone stronger than us to fight for us. Sometimes we need to band with others to make a way.
Through Jesus Christ, the Lord has fought for us and won and it is only up to us to answer the call on our life to follow Him and join with others who have done the same. Ultimately, we get one chance at this and so I would encourage you to keep walking and talking with God and allow Him to show you the power of His provision, the depths of His love and the peace of His presence. Choose love, Choose the Lord Jesus, and Live.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
1 Peter 3:7 (NLT2)
7 In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.
Today’s verse encourages husbands to honor their wives and to treat them with understanding with the encouragement that if they do so their prayers would not be hindered.
Well, I don’t preplan these messages and when I speak about spending some quality time with my wife and a Bible verse comes up that tells me to honor my wife and to treat her with understanding, I have to believe I am “tracking with the Spirit”!
Here is some simple biblical advice to husbands to meet the responsibility of their marriage covenants, to honor your wife and treat her with understanding.
And according to today’s verse, when husbands fail to do that not only do we suffer for neglecting or taking our wives for granted, we also disrupt our relationship with the Lord to the extent that our prayers could be hindered.
Amazingly, of all the various teachings I have heard about prayer, I don’t recall any of them ever telling husbands to honor their wives and to treat them with understanding to get your prayers answered! But here it is, “Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.”
So the bottom line here is that the Lord has entrusted us, men and women, with our spouses and when we fail to honor, love, or respect them, we sin. We don’t do what we “know” is right. And sin will hinder our relationship with the Lord and the answer of our prayers.
So let’s remember to honor our spouses and treat them as they should. The love they bring to our lives may just be the answer to our prayers we need without knowing it.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from Clinton E. Arnold’s “Powers of Darkness”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Clinton Arnold’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
Reflect on Where the Powers May Influence You
Ask God for discernment to help you determine where the powers might be effectively working their deceptive and ungodly control over an area of your life.
Direct Influence: Have you ever participated in any occultic activities or in the direct worship of Satan? Many credible Christian writers and counselors can point to involvements in popular witchcraft and sorcery, channeling, the heavy-metal culture, parapsychology (including ESP, clairvoyance, telepathy, etc.), the cults and an assortment of other activities as an entry into the more direct and immediate forms of satanic involvement in life. For those who come from non-Western cultures, involvement in tribal religions, worshiping household gods, and various magical and mystical practices could provide an opportunity for the powers to gain a significant foothold. What are your own past, or present, involvements?
The Flesh: As I have already pointed out, the powers not only work in the more dramatic forms (like the occult), but also in the more subtle, but equally effective, ways. They take advantage of our inner tendency to disobey God; that is, they exploit what seems to come natural to us. Remember, Paul associated behavior like lying, excessive anger, stealing and dirty talk with the activity of the devil. What aspects of your own behavior are you struggling with at this moment?
The World: Carefully assess where “the world system” might be influencing your values and behavior in a negative way. Is public opinion and peer pressure determining your moral choices? Is there a tradition in your church (“we have always done it this way”) that may be hindering its responsiveness to the Spirit for more effective ministry in a climate of change? Does your inherited economic philosophy prevent you from giving sacrificially of your financial and time resources for the mission of the church? These questions are merely suggestive of many similar questions we should honestly put to ourselves about the degree of influence the “structures” may be having on us and our fellow believers.
No doubt some might accuse me of “seeing a demon under every bush.” This criticism is fine to the extent that I reflect Paul’s view of the pervasive nature of the influence of the powers of darkness over many areas of life. We need to take more seriously Paul’s emphasis on the variety of ways the powers of darkness operate (methodeiai—Eph 6:11). This certainly does not mean that exorcism, prayers for “binding” and direct authoritative denunciations of the devil are appropriate responses in all instances where his activity is perceived. Paul emphasized a “resistance” model of response based on one’s relationship with Christ.
The net result of exposing the extent of demonic activity in the affairs of day-to-day life should force us to a deeper dependence on the power of God.
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
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My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)
Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 Clinton E. Arnold, Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 1992), 211–212.